Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
Tonight the Suns play a rubber match game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers to close out a seven-game homestand at Municipal Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Hagerstown sends RHP Tomas Alastre (3-8, 6.11 ERA) to the hill, while Greensboro's righty Colin Selby (3-2, 3.42 ERA) toes the rubber tonight.
BIG INNINGS LEAD TO SUNS VICTORY: The Suns used a four-run rally in the sixth to defeat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 7-5 at Municipal Stadium Tuesday. The Suns (34-49, 4-9) scored four runs while trailing 5-3 in the sixth. Three of them came against Greensboro (51-31, 7-6) starter Osvaldo Bido (L, 10-5), to take the lead for good. After Drew Mendoza started the inning with a single, Gilbert Lara and Jacob Rhinesmith delivered back-to-back RBI doubles to tie the game. Then, after the Grasshoppers went to the bullpen, Justin Connell gave Hagerstown the lead with an RBI single, and Cole Daily added to it with an RBI sacrifice bunt. Once the Suns took the lead, it was up to the bullpen to hold down the fort, and it did just that. Angel Guillen (W, 1-3), who entered in the third and got Hagerstown out of a bases-loaded jam, rolled through the Greensboro order. Guillen tossed 5.2 scorless innings while allowing just one hit. The righty struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
KEEP COOL LIKE CONNELL: Justin Connell has been seeing the ball well in the second half. After his second four-hit performance of the season Friday, the outfielder went 1-for-2 as the left fielder in Sunday's series finale against Delmarva to make him 7-for-11 in this series and 19-for-44 (.432) against the Shorebirds this season. He has continued the stretch against Greensboro, going 2-for-8 with a pair of doubles in the series. The Barcelona-native is currently riding a five-game hitting streak.
MULTI-HIT MENDOZA: Hagerstown added the Washington Nationals' third-round draft pick, Drew Mendoza, to their roster at the start of July. The infielder has played in two games, collecting two multi-hit games. Hailing from Florida State University, Mendoza signed with the Nationals after the College World Series and has not missed a beat. He is 4-for-9 in two games with two doubles and two RBI.
HIGH FIVE: The Suns have now given up the lead, allowing five runs in a single inning in three consecutive games. Yesterday they were able to overcome a five-run third, rallying behind four runs in the home half of the sixth to upend the Grasshoppers, but they lost back-to-back games after giving up five in the eighth and fifth, respectively Sunday and Monday.
GET 'EM ON, MOVE 'EM OVER: Hagerstown finished 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position in last night's game. The last time the Suns hit over .500 with RISP with more than seven at-bats in a game was May 13, when they finished 8-for-15 vs Greensboro. They also had more than five hits with runner in scoring position May 21 (8-for-21) and June 21 (6-for-16) over that span. This season the Suns are hitting .246 with RISP. Jacob Rhinesmith and Justin Connell are leading the way, both hitting .293 in that situation. Rhinesmith has driven in 33 RBI in 92 at-bats and Connell has sent home 21 runs in 58 at-bats.
TAP THE PEN: Ryan Tapani has bounced between starting and coming from the pen this season. The righty has now played in 16 games and started five on the bump--matching last season's total. The Creighton-product spun 4.1 innings of scoreless relief last night, setting down four via the strikeout while allowing just two hits. The 4.1 innings pitched is the longest relief outing for a Suns pitcher this season.
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